Ultralife Café – Hearty, Healthy and “Local”

Ultralife Cafe was created to offer hearty & healthy food & drink options for people like us – always on the go but still craving nutrition & quality.” I know and believe this statement to be pure. Prior to their investment and launch of Ultralife I would often see Matt and Stephanie at Crossfit Newport.  Matt was also a administrative pastor at SB, Pastor Luke is a trainer/athlete, Bo Douglas gets his Olympic lifting jam on, too: a social network of health, fitness, and nutrition.

I remember a party Matt hosted for Stephanie. It foreshadowed their skill set unknown to me at the time. The mixology, food stuff, and stylish ambiance was the tip of the iceberg, apparently. You don’t know what you don’t know about people and their drivers. Love, and love of creativity.

Unlike other businesses that emerge in our community my proximity to Stephanie and Matt has given me a few more details with which to observe the origins and genesis of Ultralife. The “nutrition and quality” component of their business model was one that was uncertain and enthusiastic. Would there be a large enough market for “clean eating” and further… vegan?  Coffee, on the other hand, appears turnkey.  According to Google, “Over 50% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day. This represents over 150 million daily drinkers. 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily.”

I need my coffee. You undoubtedly NEED yours, too. However, If the quality between two businesses is comparable – sometimes it comes down to who has the shortest line at the drive through.  Ultralife has managed to nail the recipes for consistency and uniqueness @ultralifecafe. One of my favorite drink discoveries is their green tea matcha latte. I prefer mine with hemp milk. Oatly (another dairy alternative) is equally delicious.  I tried the Starbucks version, yesterday. Ultra has a big edge on this one, IMO.

Look at these beauties! During their Crossfit phase. They both share a zest for life and a recognition of Creation. Watching them establish and develop a local business has been super cool. Entrepreneurs unite!

The broader model of having SOMEWHERE to get quick, healthy food, is not that easy for the discerning.  Granting, that “healthy” might be a matter of opinion. How would Ultralife fare and compete? Check out the menu. Try these creations. Believe. https://ultralifecafe.com/cafe-menu/  (I am looking forward to an audio interview with Matt and Stephanie so we can get down and dirty. What does it take? How is it going? More to come on this.) I wish I could offer more in regard to food cost and turn around time. I don’t have the data for a deeper case study. Nor have I remembered enough details to cite; Matt loves to talk about this stuff. So far, my taste buds have done the inspecting and they are remarkable good at contriving and making statements with food stuff.

What of this local thang? It’s a “more bang for the buck thang”.  Simply put, the likelihood that investing with local businesses, such as Ultralife, in turn multiplies these dollars back into our immediate economic waveform. “One perspective of the local multiplier effect focuses on the greater local economic return generated by money spent at locally-owned independent businesses compared to corporate chains or other absentee-owned businesses.” – Wikipedia.

Ultralife is grass roots evidence of the multiplier phenomena. I love seeing it in action. With every new tweak to their business offerings I get excited that it might be the next and best variation to further solidify their permanence. It reminds me of a time long ago when my own success was much more dependent on this proof of concept.  I was coming up. Hungry to evolve in local radio. I was also naïve with much to learn about marketing and advertising.  In the late 90’s we were still pre internet. The idea that we might “put lipstick on a pig” was often SOP (especially) at the advertising agency level. This philosophical construct to marketing still holds true – some of the time.  Glossy campaigns about lifestyles yet beholden motivate us to try and buy stuff. But, now more than ever, we want products and services that intrinsically authenticate our trajectory and desires. Innovation is a double-edged sword. “Minimalism” continues to trend. Seth Godin, says successful marketing, “Is about building trust, creating a connection, enabling an emotional bridge between your solution and the need that someone else has.”

This caught my eye as I was headed out the door last week. UL says this non-dairy creamer has been selling like bonkers. I used it this morning and it IS good. Cherity and I are stoked to have a travel friendly creamer. Thanks Ultralife!

When Ultralife dropped the Nye Beach location its was an opportunity to stretch their vision into an environment that would support a balance between their ideas and ours.  Matt and Stephanie value community and interaction. They are social creatures.  I love how there is complexity and simplicity to the hardware, the tables, the style and the environment.  It’s a place that feels good to chill and talk. But, I suspect Matt would tell me that’s not the primary thing keeping the lights on. I presume, since the car is not idling, we can slow down a little and wait for our food to be served while watching the waves crash.  We might take a little more time to find out just how much depth there is to the culinary side of Ultralife’s personality.

Ultralife’s decor and materials use is another fascination. The rustic implementation both practical and stylish. They take this savvy into their marketing, as well. The vibe is well done! Stephanie has always had an eye for design.

I encourage you to share your opinions and feedback with the delivery and construction of their goods. Not every business owner has the emotional resilience to process these inputs. Ultralife appears comfortable with symbiosis. Another aspect of their success, I believe, is their ability to move into this space and make the necessary adjustments while keeping their own vision vital.   “Marketers make change. We change people from one emotional state to another. We take people on a journey; we help them become the person they’ve dreamed of becoming, a little bit at a time.” – Seth Godin

Cheers to supporting local and the continued success of Ul…!  Ultralife Cafe.


One of the biggest determinants of improving my health and vitality has been optimal nutrition. My daily routine now (described below) is a consistent one.  It’s taken many years to arrive at the current model.  I have tried various “diets” and tweaks to my macro, micro, and supplements. Reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, etc. have all helped, and occasionally mislead. 

Somewhere I heard or read that Native American’s have deep reverence for the Bear. The Bear’s diet, perhaps, most resembles what our household eats. We are omnivores. Plants and animals. Observing the Bear was a gift to humans. They could follow the bear and find bounty. I’ve yet to see a Grizzly at Local Ocean. Thank goodness, yes?

Through it all, its taken willingness and hope that I might feel better, if I try something different. (Shit, this might even be my greatest neurotic illusion that leads me astray.) I still have much to learn and embrace staying open: I’m curious to give Vegan a try. Why not? There are some compelling reasons to do so. Curiosity. Experimentation. Optimism that there may be pathway yet to discover. 

During our second Whole30 in the fall of 2017 we really hit our stride. The first time through it was very new to us. Thankfully, my wife is master of the kitchen. Yet, recipes like this are surprisingly easy. Adjusting to “plain” food is part of the path. “Obstacle is the Way”.

Failing miserably sometimes looks like a quarter pounder, I mean, a double ¼ pounder with cheese, mac sauce only. Let’s supersize that. Every so often, midday sessions of pounding Sour Patch Kids can really brighten my day. I love sausage mcmuffins with egg: they taste great! And, they fuck you good too. If you’ve really seen what’s in that chicken nugget, you know. How did it come to this? And, how do we so willingly continue down these pathways when our health is tanking, and animal cruelty is at an all-time high? Fast food is… fast, cheap, and designed to seduce. I digress.  

The truth is I have no idea for the context of this quote form Einstein. I am not vegetarian or vegan. He was pretty bad ass and I thought that was interesting that he woulds say this. Nevertheless, I do consume a lot of veggies.

As a general rule, I feel that I am on target when 80% of my week is composed of 80% quality: I can get by with 20% “cheating” and still maintain body composition and positive health outcomes. (Let’s set aside the other aforementioned implications and evident hypocrisy.) How convenient.

My advice for most people who want to improve their health with food is as follows:  start your nutrition journey with a food journal.  Write down EVERYTHING. Use an app, use a notepad. But, really look at what you are consuming. Do it for at least a week. Possibly, step it up a notch by measuring that food. Look at the nutritional value of what you are eating by weight.  It is time consuming. It’s telling. The internet is your friend. You’ll find the data quite easily.  This “is the way” to quote the Mandalorian.  Knowing what you’re are eating, and the nutritional value of that food is necessary for #deepheath.

In my early days, 1998, I purchased a used Champion juicer. I was fortunate to have made a friendship with a brief local icon “Bicycle Bob”. I’ll be forever grateful for his ginger/carrot juice sessions. His concoctions made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I had the mentality, back then, that if it was green it was somehow good for you. I suppose there could have been worse habits!

Documenting your bloodwork numbers before a major change in diet is useful. For example, I wore a continuous blood glucose monitor for a month in July. I slightly freaked because of high numbers. Holy shit! I was pre diabetic. Had no idea.  But, I didn’t know my A1C. I may have saved myself a good dose of anxiety. Turns out that intermittent fasting, low carb, exercise types can experience “adaptive glucose sparing”. This tends to skew raw numbers.  Of course, consulting your physician prior to major changes is always recommended.  (Also, I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet.) What works for me might not work for you.

What is the lifestyle and health of your GP? Some argue that the traditional food science training for physicians needs upgrading.  My father in-laws doctor had not realized continuous glucose blood monitors we even invented. Food science and food wisdom seems to be experiencing rapid growth. We are in the emerging age of bio-individuality.  Doing your own research and challenging the status quo may be necessary to harnessing the direction of our health and health of our loved ones.

If you can control these blood values, you can be relatively confident that you’re going to maintain not just a reduced rate of biological aging, but also superior overall health. Link: The 11 best biomarkers to track for longevity. – Ben Greenfield

It’s an exciting time for food science and also ancestral approaches to nutrition.  The volume of information and data available can be both liberating and daunting. What are your genetic origins? Can you cook? Will you make time to get into the kitchen? These things may play a role in determining your food action plan. Maybe you live in a food desert. Many do. Maybe you can afford to have healthy food delivered to your home. That would be nice, minus the packaging and carbon footprint problem. So many interesting ways to approach our most essential and needed activity.    

For me, the bottom line is getting away from processed foods and cleaning it up. The modern food industry has created the perfect symphony of fast, easy and seductive foods that are literally killing us. Let’s bail on them when and where possible.

My daily routine – Paleo/Clean Eating.  Everything below is local/organic/Non-GMO where possible.

7 am – 16 oz blended vegetables, 24 g egg white protein, 12 g of collagen, 5 g creatine, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil. 16 oz coffee with non dairy creamer.

12:30 pm – 16 oz of protein (beef/chicken/fish), 16 oz blended vegetables, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil.

3:30 pm – 16 oz of protein ( beef/chicken/fish), 16 oz blended vegetables, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil

6:30 pm – 12 oz protein/vegetable medley a chugg of olive oil or flax oil.

Throughout the day I’ll likely have consumed 16 more oz of caffeine, 32 g of nicotine and 46 oz of carbonated water. I also rotate the nootropic Qualia. Before bed, I often consume, 20-40 mg of CBD, lavender and black seed oil.

Evening supplements include:
Colon Plus, IPS, Beta -TCP, Berberine HCL and Fish oil… *

Vitamix. The best blender EVER. I went through two blenders before I got clearance from the Boss to plunk down $500 on a blender. I love it. It’s been running like a champ for 10 years. I use it every other day. Lifetime guarantee. Food prep is no joke. It’s loud and powerful. Highly recommended. I’ve never regretted this purchase.

I’ll note that this summer I tried variations of intermittent fasting and keto. I typically used an 18/6 window with select days of transition into a keto day followed by the above Paleo/clean eating mentioned above in a compressed window. My main objective was cellular autophagy and detoxification. Aesthetically, I was interested in burning that last bit of tummy fat. The downside was too much muscle loss. I do have some ego about appearance. The results were a surprise in muscle loss. Unfortunately, I presume because of age, it has been more difficulty to regain this muscle. It has resulted in less explosive BMX riding and lower weight tolerances during CrossFit workouts.  However, the strength to weight ratio has improved activities such as climbing. I’ll note that during this time I was also doing more endurance mountain biking. It’s simply hard for hypertrophy and endurance to coexist. In the end, I’ll take sports over the gym. And, adaptation over aesthetics. 

Bullet proof coffee is riff on butter tea a must-drink during Tibet travel and another staple of Tibetan meal. Butter tea is boiled strong tea added with ghee and salt. Daily diet mainly consists of meat, milk and other high protein food to help them fight the cold.

Paleo/Clean Eating. If there’s a label then this is it. My wife and I have successfully complete two Whole 30s. I’ve somewhat haphazardly been juicing and blending for over ten years. Here are some of my favorite resources of late… Hail to the occasional Almond Roca, IPA, and homemade berry pie with vanilla bean ice cream.


Newport Farmers Market, Sitka Springs Farm, Gathering Together Farm, Ben Greenfield Fitness, Food Sleuth Radio, Oregon Tilth, Ancestral Supplements, Naked Nutrition, Qualia – Neurohacker Collective, Whole 30, Rich Roll, NTP

* These are at the recommendations of a certified NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) whom I’ve seen twice I the last month and one half.  I’m planning on writing a full post on this experience in the coming months.  We both agreed that I might be a hard case to = finesse out improvements. But, overall there are no negatives effects from these visits and supplements. In fact, the practical wisdom she has suggested has been really good information. Like, eat your foods slowly, eat warm food in the winter. Neither of which, are part of my values around eating. Since I eat a lot of raw vegetables we’ve also discussed the reality of phytic acid and lectins which can both be problematic. More about this some other time.